As with many urban centres in the UK, Cardiff operates a responsible public policy when it comes to asbestos removal.
Asbestos saw widespread use in the 1970s for the fireproofing of buildings, as well as to provide heat insulation, but since the 1980s health concerns have centred around fibre exposure having the potential to cause both mesothelioma and lung cancer. That has led to the banning of brown and blue asbestos material in the UK since 1985, and experts such as GD Environmental have been called in to remove the material where present.
According to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), 5,000 people are expected to die each year from exposure to asbestos, underlining the seriousness of the problem. In the same report, they also expressed concern that as late as 1997, there were some 3,000 products containing asbestos on the UK market, meaning it can now be found in a wide range of locations, from homes to factories and schools.
Cardiff City Council performs the continual monitoring of asbestos within council homes to ensure it is safe. It reminds tenants that unless the asbestos is disturbed, it does not pose a health risk. But asbestos that has become damaged, is sanded, or is drilled can release toxic fibres.
In Cardiff, around 12,000 domestic asbestos surveys have been carried out by the Council's Housing and Neighbourhood Renewal (HANR) section already. So far none of the findings have been given the highest classification of 'risk'.
Specialists such as GD Environmental can provide asbestos monitoring and removal, and for the removal of small amounts in Cardiff, the council can also help with arranging collection. Special 'asbestos sacks' are provided by the council on Lamby Way.
Cardiff City Council operates an asbestos helpline on 029 2087 2087. It is advised that those living in council homes seek written permission from the council before they attempt to deal with asbestos incidents independently, including by hiring expert help.
For any amounts over a size of 600mm by 600mm, licensed companies such as GD Environmental must be called upon, as these cannot be collected by the council in Cardiff. The asbestos can double bagged and placed in an enclosed skip or if it is very large one of GD Environmental friendly team members will come and collect this for you.
For more information about your asbestos disposal options call 01633 277755.